Why Marc Andreessen should stick to his keyboard

Every time Marc Andreessen steps away from his desk, disaster abounds. For the father of the Netscape browser, the creator of the Web as we know it, the legendary barefoot geek from the magazine covers, expectations are way too high. And so the disappointments pile up. The Andreessen of today is not the Marc we remember. His pate has gone from mophead to Klingon; his wardrobe, inevitably a tracksuit with leather shoes, is an utter disaster. And when he speaks, he says absolutely nothing. John Battelle, the slickster salesman-interviewer of bubbles past and present, tried to get some fighting words out of Andreessen on stage at Web 2.0 Expo. He failed, utterly, epicly. Andreessen praised Bill Gates, said competing with Microsoft was interesting, described Microsoft-Yahoo as "a good deal."

A recent Fast Company article on Andreessen's current venture, Ning, went no better. You can practically hear the writer propping his eyelids open as Andreessen goes on, and on, and on, about "viral expansion loops."

What happened to the Andreessen who once ridiculed Windows as "a set of poorly debugged device drivers"? Why, he's gone online. Andreessen's blog is relentlessly entertaining. His verbal fisticuffs with the New York Times are must-reads; the vitriol oozes out of every line. And he posts just infrequently enough to keep us hanging on every word.

The only surprise, really, is that Andreessen took so long to start blogging. This world was not made for him. In the Web, he created one to suit.

(Photo by mathoov)